Kazakhstan flag Kazakhstan: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Kazakhstan

Foreign Trade in Figures

Kazakhstan is open to international trade. According to the World Bank, the share of international trade in 2021 amounted to 58% of GDP (World Bank, 2023). Kazakhstan has an export-oriented economy that is highly dependent on shipments of oil and related products (57.2% of total exports). The country has been recording trade surpluses since 1998 mainly due to rise in shipments of oil and other commodities.In addition to oil, its main export commodities include natural gas, ferrous metals, copper, aluminum, zinc, uranium. Kazakhstan's main export products are raw materials, notably oil, petroleum products, coal, iron ore, machinery. Cereals, wool and meat are other major exports. The country imports mainly machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers, Electrical, electronic equipment, and radiotelephone transmitting devices.

Kazakhstan's main international customers are China (19.2% of all exports), Italy and Russia, while the main suppliers are Russia (34.9%), China, South Korea and Germany. Russia and Kazakhstan have undertaken joint projects in many areas, including energy. The government aims to improve the country's integration abroad to increase investment in the country. The country has been a WTO member since 2015 and has trade agreements with many countries in its region. It is also a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan), and the Common Economic Zone (Belarus and Russia). The Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) was signed in 2015 between the country and the European Union, and a revised version entered into force in March 2020.

As oil and gas are among Kazakhstan's main exports, the country's trade balance is affected by global commodity prices. Kazakhstan’s total foreign trade turnover amounted to 91.3 billion USD over the period from January through November 2021, an increase of 15.4% compared to 79.1 billion USD during the same period last year. This means that the EU accounts for 31% of all Kazakh foreign trade. The increase is trade has largely been due to the increased amount of freight moving across Eurasia from China to Europe, with the trans-Kazakh route one of the heaviest used. Kazakh imports from China usually arrive by the same rail route and reached about US$8 billion in value in 2021. With these containers being offloaded at Kazakhstan, space is then available for Kazakh goods to continue west to Europe. Kazakhstan’s Statistics Committee has stated that Kazakhstan’s trade with the countries of the European Union reached 28.4 billion USD during the period January – November 2021, which is a 25.6% increase over the 22.6 billion USD achieved during the same period in 2020 (Silk road briefing, 2022). In 2021, total U.S.–Kazakhstan goods trade was 2.65 billion USD, with the United States holding a negative trade balance of 1.56 billion USD.

Kazakhstan recorded a trade surplus of 1309.10 USD Million in December of 2022 (Agency of Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 2023).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 32,53437,75737,22241,17149,586
Exports of Goods (million USD) 60,95657,30946,44760,62584,663
Imports of Services (million USD) 12,08211,5418,4467,9079,416
Exports of Services (million USD) 7,3207,7545,2085,8877,923

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 63.564.957.057.5n/a
Trade Balance (million USD) 24,03818,4216,00924,22935,660
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 19,27714,6342,77222,20934,167
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 6.614.9-9.0-2.7n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 9.62.0-11.32.0n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 25.928.426.524.0n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 37.636.430.533.5n/a

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 11.85.26.81.03.6
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 13.33.03.93.51.4

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Kazakhstan is a member of the Organization of Shanghai Cooperation, the Eurasian Economic Community, the Common Economic Area and the Organization of Economic Cooperation.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
Italy 16.4%
China 15.6%
Russia 10.4%
Netherlands 6.5%
Türkiye 5.6%
See More Countries 45.5%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
Russia 34.7%
China 21.9%
Germany 4.5%
United States 3.8%
Türkiye 3.2%
See More Countries 31.9%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

84.4 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 55.6%
Copper, refined, and copper alloys, unwrought ...Copper, refined, and copper alloys, unwrought (excl. copper alloys of heading 7405) 4.4%
Ferro-alloysFerro-alloys 3.8%
Copper ores and concentratesCopper ores and concentrates 2.8%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 2.6%
See More Products 30.7%
50.0 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 3.6%
Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular...Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks; other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, incl. apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network [such as a local or wide area network]; parts thereof (excl. than transmission or reception apparatus of heading 8443, 8525, 8527 or 8528) 3.0%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 2.7%
Automatic data-processing machines and units...Automatic data-processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 2.4%
Bodies, incl. cabs, for tractors, motor vehicles...Bodies, incl. cabs, for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705 2.1%
See More Products 86.1%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

7.8 bn USD of services exported in 2022
59.39%
19.01%
7.27%
4.36%
2.92%
2.50%
2.05%
1.87%
0.53%
0.08%
0.01%
8.9 bn USD of services imported in 2022
30.29%
27.28%
24.68%
5.30%
3.37%
2.16%
2.09%
1.70%
1.37%
1.16%
0.61%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: December 2023